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Doing an Apache UIMA Release
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 Doing an Apache UIMA™ Release

These instructions are for the 2.3.1 and later releases, as a top level project. A previous version of this page, with the methods we used while in the incubator, is here.

Once you've done it a few times, you may find the shorter release checklist more convenient.

Release Overview

The UIMA project mainly releases:

  • The UIMA SDK
  • UIMA-AS add-on
  • Individual Annotators, tooling, and other useful components (like the Simple Server)
In addition, it releases some Maven build tooling components that need to be in the Maven repositories to support our Maven processes.

Releases show up in the Maven central repository and/or as downloadable artifacts listed on our downloads pages.

Release Discussions - Release Plan

At the beginning of the "UIMA Release Process" there must be consensus in the developer community about the JIRA issues that should be part of the next release and the time frame for the release. (Optional) The result of this discussion should be published in a release plan to the UIMA wiki, if it is complex. This release plan should be kept up-to-date any time so that everybody can have a look at the target dates to calculate personal ToDos.

The previous UIMA release plans and a release plan template are available in the UIMA wiki at https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/UIMA/release-plan.html

Preparing the Jira for the Release

The build includes a generated set of Jira issues fixed (closed or resolved) in this release. To make this accurate, go through the Jiras and ensure the ones you are including in the release are closed/resolved, and that the "Fixed in release xxx" is set for each Jira issue that is part of the release.

There is a saved "filter" you can adjust for this that will display all fixed Jira issues with no Fixed in release xxx assigned. You can go through subsets of this (use the filter to pick the subset you want) and do "bulk Jira changes" to update multiples of these in parallel, if that makes sense.

Preparing The Sourcecode For The Release

Before the source code can be tagged for the release check the points in the list below:

  • Investigate versions of things using

    mvn versions:display-dependency-updates
    mvn versions:display-plugin-updates and
    mvn versions:display-property-updates

    Use this information to update to later versions, if appropriate.
  • Make sure that each release artifact that should be released has the correct version number. These are normally updated automatically when the previous release is done.
  • Make sure that any README files have been updated with the latest release information and release numbers.
  • Update the release notes for the release.
  • Edit the POM of the top level thing being released, to add the property:
    replacing the 2.10.2SDK with the actual Jira version name for the Jira release being done. This value is used during release processing to automatically generate a report of the list of Jira issues that are included in this release. Change "2.10.2SDK"" to be the actual jira version name, which you can get from the Jira url by going to https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/UIMA and selecting "Releases" and then going to the particular version and copying its name.

    You can also generate this report manually (for instance, if you want to have a look at what it will produce) by going to top level project being released (e.g., uimaj-distr) and issuing the maven command:

    mvn changes:jira-report -N 

    Each time this plugin is run, it creates an updated report in the top level of this project. This report doesn't need to be checked into SVN. It will be regenerated and copied into the distribution archives (source and binary) during a release. The RELEASE_NOTES.html files have been updated to refer to this generated report.

    Running the mvn release... command will cause this report to be generated or updated, every time the command is run. So it is important that the POM is updated to include the internal Jira version number, so the right report is generated.

  • NEW !!! Update the parent-pom settings for API change reports setting api_check_old_version to the correct previous version to use.

Including updates to the Build tooling

This step is skipped, unless the build tooling is being updated.

There are several projects in the build tooling. The following special procedure is used to release updates to these.

The parent-pom has the uima-build-resources's version number encoded as the "property"

This value will normally be set to the last released version number of the uima-build-resources artifact.

If that artifact is changing, during development, this will be set to the XX-SNAPSHOT value corresponding to the development version. When releasing, first do a release (to the Nexus Staging repository, as usual) of the uima-build-resources artifact, which will create a version without the -SNAPSHOT. Then change the <uimaBuildResourcesVersion> value to correspond to the non-SNAPSHOT version number of this, before proceeding to release the parent-pom artifact.

Building The Release Candidate

Prior to releasing, you must do the one-time setup required for releasing. Be sure to use the correct Java level (e.g. 1.7, 1.8, etc.), in order to catch accidental dependencies on later Java features.

We use the maven-release-plugin to do the releasing. In the prepare phase, it updates the trunk artifacts to remove the -SNAPSHOT suffix, commits it to trunk, and then does an SVN copy of the trunk to create the tag. Then it updates the trunk artifacts to the next version-SNAPSHOT, and commits that.

The release:perform checks out the tag and builds/tests/installs and deploys it to the NEXUS staging repository.

During release:prepare, the release plugin asks what the next levels should be and what the tag name should be, and unless there's a good reason, we take the defaults (by just hitting enter).

In the past, we added a suffix representing the release candidate to the tag, e.g. "-rc1" for release candidate 1, etc. However, the URL for this tag becomes part of the released POM. After a successful vote, we would have upgraded the release candidate to the final release by renaming the tag in SVN. At that point, the URL in the POM would have become invalid. For this reason, it was decided not to add the -rc1 to the tag anymore.

The release plugin automatically signs everything that needs signing using gpg. It also builds the sources.jar, and one overall (for multi-module projects) source-release.zip file, which can be later obtained and should be an (approximate) copy of the SVN tag for that artifact, and once unzipped, should be buildable, using mvn install.


  • Make sure all changes are checked into SVN. Then checkout (not export) from SVN the project(s) you'll be building, into a new "build" location, and do all the building from there.
  • If you instead choose to build from your "working" SVN checkout, insure it's up-to-date with all changes that others may have checked into trunk.
  • Purge your local maven repository of artifacts being built by running in the top level directory you'll be building from:

    mvn dependency:purge-local-repository

    Note that this will immediately re-resolve the dependencies from the maven repositories you have configured.

    For many multi-module projects, this will fail because it purges things that other modules need. So, the alternative is to just delete the .m2/.../uima/... directory on your build machine.

  • Do a trial build of the release candidate:
    cd **directory for doing the release** 
                   mvn deploy -Papache-release

    The -Papache-release is used to have the build mimic the build actions that would be taken when the release plugin is running the release build.

  • mvn release:prepare -DautoVersionSubmodules
  • mvn release:perform

Normally, everything built is uploaded to the Apache's Nexus Staging repository. However, for the (large) distribution objects, such as the source and binary distributions for UIMA Java SDK etc., the "deploy" step is skipped. These artifacts, instead of being "distributed" using the Maven central repository, are distributed using the Apache Mirroring System.

You can upload to the Nexus Staging repository several independent artifacts; they will all get added to the same unique temporary staging repository Nexus creates. Once all the artifacts are in place, you log into https://repository.apache.org using your LDAP credentials, go to your staging repository, and "close" the repository. After that, nothing more can be added. If you deploy another artifact, it will create a new staging repository.

If you forget to close the repo, it will be open when you do your next release candidate, and then you'll have in the repo both release candidates, (with later files overwriting newer), which if any file names have changed, will create a mess. So be sure to close (and drop as appropriate) any previous repo before starting a release:perform for a new release candidate, so they deploy into a "fresh" empty staging repo.

If you have several artifacts to release, and you want subsequent artifacts to depend on the released versions of earlier ones, you can do this, by releasing the first one, then releasing subsequent ones that depend on that, etc. This works because the first one you release will get built with the release version and installed to your local repository, as well as the Nexus staging repository. So subsequent ones that depend on the release version of previous ones, will find that in your local repository.

If you forget something and close the staging repository too soon, just continue as if you hadn't. Subsequent release artifacts will go into another newly created staging spot on Nexus. The downside of this is that you'll have to tell the "voters" about multiple staging repos.

Tips for the Release Manager

The release is done using the commands mvn release:prepare and mvn release:perform.

Having all submodules at the same version: When releasing a multi-module project where all the submodules have the same release version as the root project (e.g., uimaj-distr), you can have the release plugin set the version for all the submodules the same value as the root, automatically, just use this form of the release:prepare:

mvn release:prepare -DautoVersionSubmodules

Trying out the release build: You can build the artifacts that the release would build by using:

mvn package -Papache-release

Re-doing release candidates: There are two ways to reset things back so you can do another release candidate; depending on how far through the release process you've progressed.

[mvn release:prepare] If you've just done release:prepare, you can reset things back to as they were before that command by issuing mvn release:rollback. Check to confirm that the svn tag for the release candidate is deleted; if not, remove it manually.

[mvn release:perform] If you've done a release:perform, to reset the source, try doing the release:rollback; this may work if you haven't done a release:clean.

Otherwise, you have to change the <version>x.y.z-SNAPSHOT> back to their previous value. You can use Eclipse's search/replace to do this, or the mvn versions plugin.

If you've "closed" the Nexus repo - you have to drop it. If you haven't, you can just re-run the release:perform when you're ready, and that will overwrite the staging repo data in Nexus. But see the next tip.

Nexus staging repositories and your source computer The staging repo that receives the output of mvn release:perform has as part of its name, the IP address where the deploy comes from. If you have a laptop, and do part of the release at "work", and then another part at "home", the IP address will be different, and multiple staging repositories will be created. This is not a problem, usually, unless you are updating a release by redoing it, and are expecting the previous version to be overwritten. In case it isn't, you can just use the Nexus command line interface to delete the old version from the "other" staging repo.

Removing -SNAPSHOT dependencies

POMs can refer to other artifacts in several ways, for example via the <parent-pom> element, or via a <dependency> element. Often, a release will involve releasing together multiple modules (all at -SNAPSHOT levels) that refer to one another using these elements. When that happens, the references in these two elements are automatically updated during the release process, from xx-SNAPSHOT to xx for the tag, and then to the next development level, for the trunk.

Exception to this: -SNAPSHOT suffixes are not updated for references within plugins.

Copying release artifacts to staging spot

Note that any JARs, Zips, Tars, tar.gz artifacts must be signed by the Release Manager.

Although we have a spot in the distribution SVN under dev/uima for all the artifacts to be released via the Apache mirror system, you probably should not use this for release candidates, unless you suspect there won't be many of these (or they're small). This is because SVN retains forever all the files you put into it, so if we go through 8 release candidates, each having several multi-megabyte zip/tar files, these will just waste space in SVN.

The alternative is to copy the release candidate for voting into your personal people.apache.org/~[user-id] space, and let testers/voters pull it from there.

Be sure to copy artifacts from the build-from tag spot, which should have a path like: ...[top level project]/target/checkout/target. Note this is not from [top level project]/target. Doing this will guarantee that you're posting the artifacts built from the tag (which could be different from the release:prepare build in /target if someone snuck in a svn commit at the right moment.)

If you do use the distribution SVN for the release candidates, follow the saving-svn-space tricks if reasonable. Typically, for each release, we create a new directory for that, and place all files pertaining to that release underneath that directory.

Stage the eclipse-update-site

For a general background on how we build P2 sites, including Composite update sites, see eclipse-update-site page.

The component being released, if it has Eclipse features, will have its own Eclipse update (sub) site, which should be built along with the normal build of the entire component, as part of that component's release.

In building that component's update site, you may need to edit/update the affected component's feature project(s), and the category.xml file in the update-site, before building it. For releases, run the signEclipseUpdateSite.sh (on Windows - inside Cygwin) to sign the Jars. (Optional:) There's also a verifySignsEclipseUpdateSite.sh you can run to verify the signing was successful.

If a new Eclipse update site is being added to the composite, edit in the composite project (.../build/uima-eclipse-composite-update-site) the buildCompositeRepository.xml file to add the new update site. If doing a release, run the signing script for the composite site too.

The actual creation of the update site is done in several steps, following the conventions to save SVN resources. The Maven build for Eclipse update sites will end up with files in .../target/eclipse-update-site/[subsite] which should be copied to some accessible spot for Voting/ testing. (After the vot passes, the files in the target site can be svn switched to the release directory and committed.)

Test the result: using the extended composite repository in various versions of Eclipse, and verify it installs OK.

If you changed the composite site, bump up the version of .../build/uima-eclipse-composite-site/pom.xml and commit project changes to the trunk, and tag it. The component's individual update sites should be built and tagged as part of that project's release.

Doing The Release Vote

The release candidate typically consists of

  • assembly source and binary distributions,
  • the associated SVN tag, and
  • the individual Maven module artifacts.

The source and binary distributions are manually copied by the release manager to the Apache distribution SVN in the dev/uima spot, to make them available for review. The Maven module artifacts are found in the Nexus staging repository, and are available once the release manager "closes" the repository.

After things are staged, you write a note to the dev list, asking for an approval vote. You need to provide the url(s) of the closed staging repository in the note so the approvers can find the code to check, the SVN tag corresponding to the release, and if needed, and the place in the distribution SVN where the source and binary distributions being proposed are found. The [VOTE] email should be based on similar previous votes, and include instructions to testers on how to set up their maven settings.xml file to specify the particular staging repository (or repositories, if more than one is being used). For an example, see this dev-list post.


After a successful release vote for the release on the dev mailing list:

  1. Promote the release(s) from the staging repositories: log on to the staging repository again, and release the staged artifacts. This will make the artifacts available in the Maven Central repository.
  2. Do an svn import of the new released artifacts (bin.tar/zip) to the Apache release svn ( https://dist.apache.org/repos/dist/release/uima). There is typically a new directory added, e.g., ruta-x.x.x or uimaj-x.x.x, etc.

    A suggested approach: Make a new dir in the build project, called svnUpload (or whatever), and copy the artifacts (typically the bin/zip/tar and the source release and all the signature/checksums) into this dir. Then do the svn command:

    cd the-svnUpload-directory
    svn import -m "commit msg, e.g. uimaj-2.8.0 rc5" . https://dist.apache.org/repos/dist/release/uima/xxxxxxxx-n.n.n
    Do not add files like POMs which have line-endings, if they have signatures; the files added should be "binary" style files. (The line endings (if you build on windows) will be changed upon upload to svn, which will result in bad signatures).

    If Eclipse plugins are being released, the update site build will have under the target/eclipse-update-site/[subsite] the sub-site, as checked out of the .../dist/... svn. You can check things by doing an svn status command. "cd" to the The features subdirectory, and do an svn add *2.5.0*, followed by an svn commit -m "uimaj 2.5.0 release [ replace with the right message]". Repeat for the plugins subdirectory. Then go up to the subsite directory, and do another svn commit -m "[message]" to update the artifacts and contents stuff.

    Make sure the KEYS file in release/uima is current. See one-time-release-setup.

    Update the download page of the UIMA website to make the new release artifacts available. This is done indirectly, by editing both the downloads.xml page and also by adding entries to the xdocs/stylesheets/project.xml page - follow the previous examples.

  3. Things not needed to be mirrored go into our website: in the docs/d directory. Currently, this includes the RELEASE_NOTES (plus issuesFixed) for the release, the new docbooks, and the Javadocs. Arrange to update these in a way that preserves SVN resources.
  4. Copy RELEASE_NOTES and issuesFixed from the top level project (where the mvn release:perform was done from) in the directory target/checkout/ ... to the the website in docs/d/[project-version].
  5. Update the downloads page of the web site
  6. Update Jira version info to reflect the release status and date
  7. After release appears on maven central, post an appropriate announce letter
  8. Add release to next Board report
  9. Celebrate!

Announce The Release

To announce the published release send and email to

  • announce@apache.org
  • user@uima.apache.org

and describe the major changes of the release. Announcements should be posted from the release manager's apache.org address, and signed by the release manager using the same code-signing key as was used to sign the release. For more details please refer to A Guide To Release Management During Incubation.

Our main uima website has a "News" section that should be updated with news of the release. There are 2 place to update: One is the index.xml file, which has a one-line summary (at the bottom) that references a link within the new.xml page; and a new entry in the news.xml page itself. Follow previous examples.